Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Oil Painting 52 - The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

The second painting started in Oxford. Our only experience of Oxford prior to this trip was calling in for a break on the way back from collected a rejected entry to the BP Portrait Prize (they didn't know what they were looking at). We had a brief walk around Christchurch Meadow and the old University quarter and I remember the experience well, of walking narrow streets between golden stone buildings that opened up into this, the magnificent Radcliffe Square. I have attempted a composition that hopefully reflects that experience of looking up at spires from street level and then the vista of the Radcliffe camera inside the square.

The painting also captures the pushbikes, the dominate form of transport in the city, that have also taken over any available inch of railing in the centre. The building on the right is the famous Bodleian Library.

The morning light also became a strong feature in this painting and because of this I would only work on it in morning conditions and work on something else in the afternoons. I am pleased with the diagonal brush strokes on the corner of the Bodleian Library as the sun just caught it before moving round and leaving that wall in shade.

The aerial perspective (reducing contrast and slightly bluing) is working on the dome of the Radcliffe camera, this treatment reminds me of the painting of the Council building inside Victoria Square, Birmingham (Oil Painting 35 - Birmingham Watches the Olympics)

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